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Dormant park plan stifles residents

Update: October, 30/2014 - 09:32
Residents living in Tan Chanh Hiep ward in HCM City's district 12 have had to let the grass take over their vacant land for more than a decade. — Photo bizlive.vn

HCM CITY (VNS) — Residents living in Tan Chanh Hiep ward in HCM City's district 12 have had to let the grass take over their vacant land for more than a decade.

About 100 families have been unable to take advantage of their legal property rights because of a plan by District 12 People's Committee in 2004.

The plan set aside 310 hectares for a public green park, including the land of the residents.

"The authorities said that my land was to be used for a park, but they have not done anything in the last 10 years," said resident Vo Van Ghe. "I wanted to rebuild my house as it is derelict, but they won't let me."

Ghe tried three times to build a small house for his newly married son on his 8,000 square metres of land, but authorities bulldozed them every time.

Another resident Do Van Tai said that authorities would not allow him to build a house or do any business on his land.

"I wanted to earn some money, so I asked the authorities to let me build a greenhouse to grow orchids. But they refused," he said. "All the banks turned down my loan requests to grow orchids as my land registrations showed that the land was planned for public use."

Resident Do Van Luu said his son could only earn VND5 million (US$240) a month to raise his family of four.

"I wanted to sell my 5,000 square metres, but no one dared to buy," he said. "I just hope that the Government implements the plan soon so that I can receive the compensation money."

HCM City Department of Planning and Architecture Vice Director Nguyen Thanh Toan said that the reason for the 10-year-delay in building the park was mainly a shortage of money.

He added that the plan was now actually under modification due to changes in the monorail route that runs through the ward.

"The department is still awaiting the new draft plan for the district to start evaluation work," said Toan.

Vice-head of District 12's Division of Urban Management, Luong Ngoc Oanh, admitted that the district was working on a new draft plan for the park but was unsure when it would be finished.

However, there is some hope. Toan said that in the meantime, the city had recently decided to support residents owning land taken for public use.

According to new construction regulations, residents that have land-use permits before their land is taken for public use can construct buildings to the maximum of three floors.

The city administration also insisted there be no indication the land was to be later set aside for public use so that residents could get loans from banks. — VNS

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